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Work to start on new Yorkshire flood schemes

30/04/2009

Work is due to start this year on 15 projects which will improve flood protection to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Yorkshire.

At its meeting today, the Yorkshire Regional Flood Defence Committee (RFDC) approved an investment programme of more than £2.6 million to support important local flood relief projects across the Yorkshire region funded through its Local Levy programme.

This raises cash from local authorities to meet the cost of local schemes not eligible for national funding.

The Local Levy is supported by matched funding from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which will contribute £619,000 this year (2009/10).

Fifteen new partnership projects are due to start this year, with a further 15 starting next year and continuing until 2013.

Schemes starting this year include:

  • Nursery Street, Sheffield - in partnership with Sheffield City Council, the RFDC is contributing £400,000 over the next two years to raise the riverside terraces of a new park on the north side of the River Don between Borough Bridge and the railway viaduct. The scheme would protect 350 homes and more than 75 commercial premises;
  • Aqua Greens, Hull - the RFDC is contributing £150,000 to this Hull City Council project to investigate whether water storage areas could be created in an urban environment to protect up to 3,000 homes from flooding;
  • Peckitt Street, York - the RFDC is contributing £35,000 towards the cost of flood gates and valves to prevent flooding to up to eight properties and maintain access for a further 10;
  •  Hebble Brook screen – the RFDC is contributing £25,000 to replace a trash screen on Hebble Brook, near Halifax, which blocks regularly and poses a flood risk to up to 30 properties upstream.

Committee chairman Jeremy Walker said: “The commitment of local authorities in the region to increase investment in flood defence is impressive, especially at a time of economic stringency. Through partnership with the Environment Agency, councils throughout the region and Yorkshire Forward we will be able to bring real benefits to householders and businesses across Yorkshire.”

Andy Tordoff, Assistant Director of Environment (Tourism and Rural Renaissance) at Yorkshire Forward, commented; “We recognise the economic impact flooding can have on Yorkshire and Humber, especially in light of the summer 2007 floods which caused major disruption and damage to the region’s businesses.

“This emphasised the need for a much closer working relationship with the Environment Agency and their Regional Flood Defence Committee and, as a result, we are the first Regional Development Agency to contribute funding to the Local Levy, as this will help to protect our region from future flood risk.”

City of York Council leader Andrew Waller, who chairs the RFDC’s finance sub-committee, said:  “This is as a result of local councils across Yorkshire increasing their financial support  for flood defence schemes. I’m delighted that projects across the region will benefit with many more projects in the pipeline.

“This is designed to support projects that might not happen otherwise, and shows the increased level of awareness of the need for flood prevention.”

Work is ongoing with local authorities and other partners to identify new projects and the committee has pledged to support more community-led initiatives in rural areas and specific neighbourhoods within larger towns and cities.

ENDS

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